For the next unknown period, Ugandan Major General Kayanja Muhanga will dominate most local and foreign media headlines as he commands the war against the Allied Democratic Front rebels based in the DRC.
The operation against the rebels has been dubbed Operation Shujaa.
Speaking for the first time on Tuesday since leading the Ugandan UPDF army in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gen. Kayanja said the operation will mainly focus on weakening identified enemy camps. in Yayuwa, Tondoli, Beni One and Beni Two.
UPDF troops are based in the village of Mukakati about 18 km away in North Kivu province, where the general commander of the operation, Major General Kayanja Muhanga, has established the forward operating base as a ramp. launch for the offensive operation against ADF terrorists.
But who is General Muhanga?
Kayanja Muhanga was born in Fort Portal, Kabarole district, western Uganda, around 1964. He is the older brother of journalist Andrew Mwenda.
He attended Duhaga High School in Hoima District and later Mpanga Day School in Fort Portal. In 1985, while still in S5, he joined Museveni’s National Resistance Army (NRA).
He joined the NRA in the rank of private, holding that post until the NRA took power in 1986. He served in the military police unit based in Kasese.
Muhanga served in the Presidential Protection Unit (PPU), at the rank of soldier from 1986 to 1988. After the junior officer course, he served in the office of the chief of combat operations (CCO), at the rank of second lieutenant. He was transferred to the Directorate of Military Intelligence in 1990, where he served until 1993.
From 1993 to 1997, he served as an intelligence officer attached to the UPDF barracks in Mubende. He was assigned to the Joint Anti-Terrorism Taskforce (JATT), at the rank of captain.
He was promoted through Major, Lieutenant Colonel and Colonel and was posted to Mogadishu, Somalia, as part of the UPDF contingent of AMISOM. There, he commanded the Ugandan “Battle Group Eight” and was simultaneously deputy commander of the Ugandan contingent in Somalia. After his term of service, he was Chief of the UPDF Military Police until January 2014.
In January 2014, Colonel Kayanja Muhanga was appointed Commander of UPDF operations in South Sudan. In February 2014, he was promoted to the rank of brigadier.
Recently, General Kayanja coordinated security operations in Kampala during the controversial elections that have just ended. After the brutal repression of the opposition, the intimidation of voters and the Internet blackout, President Yoweri Museveni won nearly 59% of the vote, followed by Bobi Wine with around 35%.